Ethnic studies by definition is a study of people of color and their experience in all dimensions of life, be they social, political, economic, cultural, spiritual, educational, etc. Ethnic studies is interdisciplinary, and seeks to offer students an unique opportunity to interrogate the social, economic, and political forces that have shaped the historic experiences of diverse communities in the United States.
The Religious Studies program offers a curriculum on world religious traditions including those of recent immigrants to the United States and spiritual traditions of the indigenous people in the United States. It is a critical and analytical field of study of people and the values and spirituality from their various cultural and racialized backgrounds.
The Ethnic and Religious Studies department is committed to the mission of the university and its services to historically disenfranchised communities. Ethnic Studies' vision is to develop curriculum that understands and poses questions that critically considers notions of and meanings regarding race, sexuality, gender, class, nation, indigeneity, and immigration.
We engage in a comparative and decidedly interdisciplinary study of not only Native Americans, African Americans, Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Americans and Asian Americans, but also global communities of color that are also strategically positioned in the current global economy. The study of religion has, from the beginning of human civilization, been a significant part of the intellectual world and a central force in shaping diverse cultures. Modern civilization and communities of color are, and continue to be shaped and informed by religious thought.